The lyre sculpture's weathered finishes sometimes catch a glint of setting sun, adding facets of interest to the looming structure. However, there is less glint and more 'dull' of late...wondering if it couldn't use a little maintenance and/or refurbishing! Needing a 'tune-up' myself and looking forward to a bit more down time to pursue creative efforts and 'shine' again! Edison State College, Collier campus, Naples, FL
Monday, May 30, 2011
Celebrating Memorial Day with the traditional red, white, and blue colors in a nontraditional floral way. The flags, the wreaths, the parades, and the ceremonies all recognize the importance of honoring the special men and women who sacrificed their lives to allow us to live the freedoms we have today.
Though I lived the military most of my life as an Army 'brat', I was fortunate to not have lost a family member to war; nonetheless, the return of soldiers from Vietnam and more recent conflicts in body bags or with physical and psychological damage are forever etched in my mind and soul. In this case, the visual is not nearly enough to emote the gratitude and remembrance, but Taps alone touches the very core of today. Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Golden waves of sea oats border many lines of the shore - caught this morning in the luscious light. Their beauty is overshadowed by their purposefulness in helping to prevent beach erosion when extreme weather heads our way and in providing protective habitat for the young. Despite their delicate looking stems and top-heavy seed heads, these grasses stand strong and erect, growing densely once established. They are also well protected in Florida - picking or disturbing is punishable by law. Good to see conservation efforts matching vision and mission. 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico
Saturday, May 28, 2011
A variety of fun images taken today at Freedom Park (always manage to be fascinated with this little swamp land in the middle of town) but the reflected sky in the leaf-littered and murky swamp water pulled me in...There is a tremendous amount of activity going on in this one static image - not much is visible, but there are quick-flying dragonflies hovering in and out of the area seeking water insects, there are small spiders trying to weave webs of protection form those who see them as prey, there are small fish who dart under the shadowed plants in their schools of comrades, and there is an abundance of microscopic life underwater.
So much lies beneath the surface! It is always a delight to take a moment or two to explore that depth! Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Friday, May 27, 2011
A little rind, a little splash...it must be Friday! :) Some Fridays are so much more needed than others and this one is complimented with a three-day weekend. Lots to do, but more time to try to check some items off the list! Like the refreshing tang of lime, the 'official' signal of summer is welcomed by many. Here in SW Florida, the zest and zing will be used often to keep away the drenching heat and humidity...but we also re-capture the beaches, restaurants, and other essence of Naples from the seasonal visitors who have escaped to northern climes. Naples, FL
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Angel trumpet flowers bloom profusely on this plant. Their beauty is only for the eyes and their intoxicating scent for the nose though as they are both narcotic and poisonous when ingested by animals and humans alike. Another example of nature's 'can't judge a book by it's cover'...another lesson learned! ;) North Lake Dr & 3rd St, Naples, FL
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
How does your garden grow? Here there's quite an interesting patchwork of cactus, rosemary, papaya, cosmos and other assorted plants...all guarded by Devcon! :) Maintained by a couple of homeowners, this garden is preferred over the perfectly manicured and professionally landscaped lawns that often adorn the homes in the neighborhood. Of course, landscaping is big business in SW Florida and it employs a large number of people in the community...but there's nothing like showing off your 'green' thumb, when you have it! :)
For most with the 'green' thumb, the summer offers that enjoyable time of gardening...the labor yields satisfying discoveries. Finding that 'green' thumb - that special match - can be a tough process. Unfortunately, not everyone ends up in their true destiny - detoured by necessities, settling for 'less than' or influenced by the 'hype' instead of true self-discovery. So, it is even more delightful when you see the perfect match! North Lake Dr & Gulfshore Blvd, Naples, FL
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This miniature Slinky has already been 'pulled' out of commission - they don't make 'em like they use to! Still, the connecting concentric circles have visual appeal, as well as kinesthetic and auditory interest - a multi-faceted foundation for problem-solving, too!
Problem-solving has so many dimensions and often we forget about other tools in the toolbox that can lend a possible solution. Like the Slinky, we can get caught up in the seemingly never-ending circles going 'nowhere' - but we can't blame the Slinky for taking us down that path when it does offer that beautiful feel and sound. Once again, we need to be reminded of various perspectives and 'out-of-the-box' thinking! Naples, FL
Monday, May 23, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Fresh blueberries - still a bit on the high side, but I couldn't resist. I was hoping to wait until later in the week to use them as a photographic subject, but at the rate of consumption, decided the time was now! Indeed, their sweet taste and yummy texture are being enjoyed as I compose!
Freshness is the key, of course. We all benefit from the taste and, likely, nutrition of fresh food. The same 'freshness' can apply to other avenues of life - a fresh look at the usual mundane, a fresh new recipe to try or clothing to wear, a fresh approach to an old problem. Seasons remind us to see the world in 'fresh' eyes - we just need to create our own seasons sometimes! :) Naples, FL
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Isn't this collage of photographs wonderful? This is part of a collection affixed on the wall of a commercial building in an under-developed section of town in March. It is the brain-child project, A Face in the Crowd , of photographer Michelle Tricca. Unfortunately, it was back in the news recently due to vandalism ...although it appears that most was saved in a 'clean up' process, Naples Daily News photographer, Lexey Swall, opines part of the bigger problem.
Whether the defacer was a juvenile on a 'power' kick or an angry adult showing overt prejudice, the end result was the same - a destructive act devaluing another's property which represented an artistic expression and a multicultural statement. Where is the kindness and consideration? How did inconsiderate or hateful actions become so casual and prevalent? And, how do we reverse the trend? This example is not web-based, but the considerable number of digital attacks are similarly disconcerting and harmful. Perhaps the potential for 'good' is truly limited by human nature, but I keep hoping and working toward a change of course. Bayshore Drive, Naples, FL
Friday, May 20, 2011
Although these plumeria are pink, you can see the streaks of white, yellow and orange which help to define the colorful characteristics of this tropical beauty...another demonstration of the synergistic value of diversity!
The quality of being 'different' is a popular phenomena. In addition to multiculturalism, promoting the appreciation of global perspectives and ethnicity, our schools expect students to explore a wide variety of content and subject areas. In finance, the diversification of investments reduces risk with the multiple asset allocation. In science, the biodiversity of our various life forms is a measure of good health. No wonder the recent and seemingly sole educational focus on standardization in assessment has backfired. ;) Naples, FL
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Solar powered Assistance call box on the college campus offers matching colors to the bright blue sky and puffy white clouds. For some reason, the image called for a photograph...between the colors and the angle, as well as the 'green' approach! The boxes are scattered around campus to provide safety and security beacons, in addition to a resource for help in getting a jump start for a dead car battery, for example.
Safety and security is a basic human need - challenged often these days with the threats of terrorism and unemployment. I often ask my students to leave their comfort zone - another threat to their perceived safety and security. (It is an imagined threat, but still very real to them....which I quickly acknowledge.) Attempting to do so in a gradual manner, I hope to erase much of the trepidation (at least outward fears), but a level of trust and rapport is key. This summer's accelerated schedule makes it all the more difficult, but I think the developmental, weaning process builds success. Edison State College campus, Naples, FL
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
These crayons really didn't lend themselves well to this little construction project - the engineering properties of balancing 'round on round' quite naturally was a bit tricky! ;) Adaptation and a couple of trial and error attempts eventually yielded this structure. The spirit of innovation relies on experimentation and opportunities to fail as a vehicle for success.
Whenever there are a couple of ideas floating around in my head, such a visual and the ensuing process are valued and encouraging. Setting up failure as the 'end' prevents learning and the opportunity to create in a realistic environment. Let's keep building! Naples, FL
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Just peeking through the trellis opening! The deep magenta bougainvillea drape these bright blue trellises all over the Edison State College campus - one of my favorite features of the site. As evidenced from the distant sky, this particular plant is a bit ragged and not as dense with colorful bracts as others, but this little cluster holds its own!
Stopping to chat with a group of sophomores this morning - getting their perceptions about a variety of topics related specifically to our school, and generally to education and learning. The conversation was short, but delightful! Given the opportunity to express their opinions in a guided sense, the students can partner with the policy makers and other constituents to create positive change - today, that sense of confidence was in evidence - just as these bracts defiantly stake their claim! Now to just channel that 'good stuff' in a positive direction! :) Edison State College, Naples, FL
Monday, May 16, 2011
This poinciana tree just keeps on blooming! It is a big one (probably 60ft or more high and 5 ft in diameter at the base) and the bright reddish-orange just fills the sky with contrasting color. It is so energetic and appealing...and definitely brightened my Monday! Who couldn't appreciate such a gift, especially on a Monday?! :) 5th Ave N, Naples, FL
Ahh...analog time, with Roman numerals no less! This clock atop an outdoor strip mall has intrigued me for some time, but this was the first opportunity I've taken to shoot it. I actually had another composition in mind, but with big rain drops pouring from the sky (despite the deceptive blue), protecting the lens seemed much more appropriate.
Looking optimistically through the reality of the environment while accepting the old/past...and promoting change for the future - it's a tentative balance to be reviewed and altered every day. Making a stand in the present is vital...even if most all of the targeted audience ignore - there's always a few that will be impacted and eventually the movement will grow! :) Pine Ridge Rd & Goodlette Rd, Naples, FL
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Almost walked past it...this resting frog camouflaged on a nearby leaf. Its silvery green surface mimics the now verdant greens of the swamp. Despite the continued dry season, growth continues to take place. Soon summer rains will flush out even the smallest of seedlings, insects, and other critters. So, rest up little frog - competition is soon to come!
I much prefer the concepts of collaboration and cooperation over competition, but the so called 'survival of the fittest' remains a reality. When there is only so much space and when one can survive when feeding on another, the notion of working together can fall by the wayside...even in with the intellect of the human mind. It is an odd conflict to believe in 'the best' and 'a winner' while still promoting equality, teamwork and collaboration. Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Friday, May 13, 2011
The white bird of paradise shadows its colorful cousin, but its 'simplicity' offers plenty of fascinating complexity! I love that simple/complex dichotomy as it never seems to be so 'black and white' like other dualities. Instead, each end of the continuum seems to need each other to exist and their mutual relationship is more circular and interdependent than oppositional. Simple seemingly yields to complex and the opposite appears true, as well.
“Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Horseshoe Dr N, Naples, FL
The Nooks have been popular for both student and faculty checkouts. It has only been a couple of months and 'word of mouth' but the usage is strong! Some are simply curious, others want to read a specific title and others simply yearn for digital reading in a light, compact form. Most have returned the device with nothing but praise and ready to renew...though some did not enjoy the experience.
For the upteenth time, I am struck by the awesome opportunity to be involved in the transformation process - not only as an active participant, but as a 'shaper' of that change. Imagine the awesome power we collectively have to drive this growth and development of digital information and with the nature of this change, we can all participate...Let's capture this energy and make responsible choices to direct this transformation in a positive and exponential way. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Playing around with my 'nifty fifty' (50mm lens) to take a shot of this necklace - fun to see the varying focal points! Worn daily for years until this morning when, for some unknown reason, it remained on the counter instead of at my neckline. The absence was noticed on the commute to work - not soon enough to allay the 'nakedness' of the norm, but just enough to feel missing all day long.
Our daily routines and rituals offer a peek into our personalities - and what is just as interesting is how we react when those ordinary, unwavering habits are interrupted for some reason. Humans are really quite adaptable as a whole and acclimate to many ripples of change, but there times and events that seem to set up an entirely different scenario...perhaps, worthwhile to rehearse those potential unaccustomed happenings. Naples, FL
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Abundant pink frangipani (plumeria) happily dominate this view - brightening my disposition considerably. These are typically the flowers species used to make leis and culturally, can designate the relationship status of women when worn behind the ear. Lovely, bright and inviting positive thoughts, these flowers are in stark contrast to the depressing budgetary news that continue to cloud the educational institutions. Dealing with the economic conditions has been a struggle and heart-wrenching, as well - hopefully, the cloud will show its silver lining (trying to stay optimistic!). 7th Ave N & Bougainvillea, Naples, FL
Monday, May 9, 2011
Well, it's Monday...and 'off to the races' again - not literally (the 5K Tropicool was yesterday), but definitely in a figurative sense...as the frenzied weekday activities renewed. :) In an effort to 'dance in the rain,' I'm tying up my shoelaces and heading out to the starting line. Consciously seeking out interesting photos and innovative possibilities provides great coping mechanisms! Our students, especially those who are the most disenfranchised, continue to have roadblocks thrown in their paths - do they have the coping skills to maneuver the maze? If not, do they have the resources to obtain those skills? Monday musings....Naples, FL
Sunday, May 8, 2011
This recently shorn palm tree against the bright blue sky just begged to pose for a photograph...and that was before I noticed the blue jay (see note - better viewed in Original) headed for shelter amongst the fronds. As only a mom can be both strong and solid as well as beautiful and protective, this palm seemed a fitting shot for the day we honor our special mothers - Happy Mother's Day. 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Staring directly at me, this red-shouldered hawk is perched in the blinding rain...but seemingly oblivious to the watery pellets while determining my intrusion as 'friend or foe'. Its piercing call is distinctive (Listen!) and its keen eye provides successful hunting. No longer interested in me and/or perhaps tired of the soaking raindrops, it took off!
My half hour 'photo walk' - initially studying water drop images - quickly transitioned to dodging the dense 'showers' until shelter was discovered (fortunately in view of this imposing predator)...and another half hour later! The 'forced' opportunity to smell the roses was indeed worthwhile - a message to create those perspectives as often as possible. Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Nicely landscaped terrace area at this hotel/business plaza complex and intriguing triangular shapes in the flowers, shrubbery and hangers. What's more with the five black stripes in the awning, there's a numeric connection to today's date, Cinco de Mayo.
The bright and cheery scene is a nice respite for some of the sad news coming out of the FL legislature and governor's office. Somehow, the teachers and students are shouldering most of the blame and the legislative 'solutions'! So, while we need to continue to 're-educate' our politicians about the value and economics of learning, we really need to turn this dark cloud into their own silver linings...and soon! So, bring on the motivational speakers, the innovators, and the 'energizers' - we need to work together now to make the proverbial lemonade out of the lemons! Lake Mary, FL
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Stripes of mist and foggy layers lined the drive through the state's interior on the way to Orlando this morning - a drive-by shot, of course. There was an eerie feeling that could have led to the development of a mystery novel...but sooner than you could develop a storyline, the atmosphere burned off and Florida's agricultural landscape reappeared. near Labelle, FL
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Deborah Ellis, Canadian author of dozens of juvenile and young adult books - both fiction and nonfiction - visited Southwest Florida today to share her perspectives on the world. Her casual and laid back nature was a natural magnet for storytelling...though this candid smile belies the serious and tragic basis for her characters and interviews. Despite the focus on subjects such as children with HIV/AIDS in Africa, Iraqi refugees in Jordan, a Bolivian boy who mistakenly becomes involved in the cocaine trade, and a young Afghan girl who disguises herself as a boy to contribute to the family's livelihood, there are two very important messages: 1) that of hope and optimism with evidence of "real life" encounters with the human spirit, despite all odds against them, and 2) that human beings with all of their intelligence and creativity CAN (and will!) change the world for the better through dedicated problem-solving.
The timing couldn't have been better. This time of year with near-end spring semester activities and deadlines, there is little time for reflection of personal activities, much less worldwide events. With yesterday's announcement and discourse of bin Laden's death (and subsequent viral attributions), I continue to marvel at human nature and it's need to focus on the small details....the big picture is often blurred. Much to think about...and take action on, to include reading more titles by this authentic author....our world needs each of our contributions. Edison State College, Ft Myers, FL
Monday, May 2, 2011
This is a week without the usual overload expectations, so I'm gifting myself with a book in which to immerse myself...the question is, which one? This is just a partial selection (additional ones in the digital format...and of course, there's always the library's collection!), but adding more to the choice process would make it more befuddling! I really can't lose - reading is such a rewarding venture. What's your selection? Other recommendations? (I'll save them for the next opportunity!) ;) Naples, FL
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Drawn to the shadow play, the lens watched as the contrasts emerged and the shapes defined. A simple scene, but somehow it captures an interesting essence. The monochromatic tones are in stark opposition to the expected color-filled exuberance of anticipated May Day flowers...should have thrown a red poppy on counter for that 'pop'! The fun part of such a photograph is allowing one's imagination to create meaning...a vital component for learning, as well. Naples, FL